Medical misinformer Jane Orient, president of the far-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, has hopped from WorldNetDaily, her usual home, to Newsmax, once again lamenting in an Aug. 3 column that we can't use DDT to wipe out mosquitoes and, thus, the Zika virus:
CDC and Florida are applying insecticides, but though they aren’t working very well, it is the height of political incorrectness to suggest trying DDT, which was used in effective vector-control programs up until the early 1970s, when the EPA banned it for overblown or even fabricated environmental concerns. DDT probably saved 500,000,000 human lives without killing anyone. Nor does it kill fish, birds, or cats. We might start with a head-to-head comparison of DDT with what we’re using instead for both effectiveness and hazard.
Orient doesn't seem to want to acknowledge that 1) DDT did, in fact, disrupt the ecosystem for fish and birds that eat fish, and 2) most mosquitoes are immune to DDT due to past overuse and bringing it back would do nothing.
Orient also complains about one particular commercial mosquito repellent:
The CDC-recommended strategy, with do-it-yourself prevention, is a step above nothing: Don’t have a baby (and here’s a condom), wear long sleeves and pants, and apply a mosquito repellent such as DEET.
It has taken an unprecedented action of warning about travel to an area in Florida, but what about those traveling from high-risk areas in the Caribbean and Central and South America?
Personally I have not found DEET under socks and long pants to be effective at keeping those ankle-biters from enjoying a meal. Maybe it wasn’t strong enough.
In fact, research has shown that DEET is a highly effective mosquito repellent. But then, Orient doesn't seem to be much interested in research.